Homeland: 105 “Blind Spot” Review
“Blind Spot” (Season 1 | Episode 5)
WARNING – FULL SPOILERS
“He beat me with a stick wrapped in barbed wire and pissed on me”
I think what I like best about this horrendous line is the fact that Brody delivers it in such a calm and somber way, like he’s giving directions or relaying a recipe. Given it’s content you can excuse the guy for wanting a sit down with his captor of 8 years. Whether he passed him the razor blade or not you can forgive him for wanting some way of taking revenge on a guard that did this, even if they are on the same side now.
Blind Spot couldn’t have been a more fitting title for this episode of Howard Gordon’s fantastic new show, as the defining moment may have come in the shadows of that interrogation room. Seeing Brody grab Afsal and drag him across that table, I couldn’t help cheering him on like I was watching a fight at a hockey match. What a shock it was later on to see the guy bleeding out from a ‘self inflicted’ razor blade slash, the show then added to the is he/isn’t he question by cutting (no pun intended) to a shot of Brody looking blankly into space. This all happened after the early shot of Brody shaving in the mirror and after Mike had told him to go and have a sh*t, shower and shave. Was this Brody’s doing? For this show to run the course we’re going to need to know sooner or later whether it is Brody behind all of this or whether it’s a series of coincidences.
If Brody did play a part in Afsal’s death and if he somehow warned Faisel that the heat was onto him then surely he must have been desperate. Otherwise, why would you risk exposing the identity of such a key sleeper agent within the American military?
Estes’ decision to put Brody into play in the interrogation was a great move for the show. Carrie and Brody have not met, on professional terms anyway, since the pilot episode so it was great to see them in a room together to turn the heat back up. Carrie’s attitude to Brody was as if last week’s little get together outside the church never happened. Does this mean that there’s going to be a personal side to Carrie & Brody as well as a professional one? If so then that’s going to be exciting to watch, especially if their personal interactions become romantic. You have to ask yourself if Brody wants all this to happen in order to get Carrie off his back, if he knows that is. Homeland is centered not just on Brody’s behaviour but on the relationship with Carrie, so the more this is exploited the better the show will be to watch.
Speaking of Carrie, “Saul when did you become such a p*****?” was quite a question to ask your own boss, especially in his own home. Her bipolar syndrome hasn’t flared up since the pilot episode. Her frustrations, although extreme, very justified though. Saul has been taking such a relaxed approach to the Brody situation that it makes you think is he just naturally this laid back during an operation or does he want Carrie off Brody’s back because he’s somehow involved with what’s going on. It’s not surprising to see he speaks Arabic, he does work for the CIA so he’s spent time in the Middle East and must have interrogated a lot of enemies. But it does make you wonder, he also stepped in the room with Afsal, maybe it was hidden under the paper or inside that innocent Crayola marker? We never saw Afsal kill himself so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a flashback of Saul finishing him off (a la Nina Myers with Jaime in 24, Season 1).
Carrie’s dad also made an appearance in this episode and you could tell within a matter of moments where she inherits her attitude from. Walking in to see him unleash a torrent of hate at his favourite baseball team was pretty bad, but in all fairness haven’t we all walked in to hear our own dad having a go at the TV during a [inset name of a team you support here] match?
All in all, this week’s edition firmly placed the attention back on Brody just as it looked like it could slip away. Faisel’s disappeared but the CIA are on the case, Carrie has got some groveling to do if she wants to get Saul back on her side. The way she broke down in tears at her sister’s house showed us that, despite the fact that she could give Debs from Dexter a run for her money in aggression, she is human after all.
Scene of the Episode | Saul Interrogates Afsal – This was such a layered scene that you couldn’t afford to miss one moment. Carrie barely took her eyes off Brody, Brody was glued to the monitors whilst feeding Saul information and Afsal gave little reaction to anything. A great sequence with the leading duo and Saul on top form.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.